A recent study by Gartner concluded that by 2014, 10 to 15% of all online reviews would be fake. That’s a crime, because a large portion of consumers use online reviews to help them make decisions about where to shop, who to hire and where to eat.
Restaurant.com is taking care of that last part with their Verified Review program. Before anyone can leave a review on the site, they have to purchase and redeem a restaurant voucher. Once their redemption has been verified, they get a link inviting them to leave a review.
To assure the best possible quality, reviewers must also complete a short survey and assign star ratings. They’re also required to comment only on the restaurant experience; the food, the service, the ambiance. They may not use the review to talk abut a bad experience with the deal or their own personal disaster. (My boyfriend broke up with me at dinner! I hate this restaurant.)